A not on recent border crossing
- With apologies for the cross-posting . . .
For those Canadians heading south to Mississinewa and other events --
you should be aware that US Customs at both Port Huron and Detroit have
been mandated by Washington to do a random check and search of every
tenth vehicle travelling through on the tourist (i.e. non- commercial)
side. I was stopped yesterday while going through as a tourist on my
way to visit some friends in the States, and was one of the chosen.
While pleasant and polite as always, the agents who questioned me, had
me fill out a form (like the one you get on an airplane travelling into
the States), and subsequently searched my truck were VERY thorough --
they went under every seat, checked my ashtrays, pulled out my spare
tire and jack, looked under the truck with mirrors, brought the drug dog
by, riffled through the stray bits of paperwork lurking in my door
pockets, went through the receipts in my expenses file, opened and
tested my factory-sealed bottle of distilled water -- you get the idea.
Things they specifically asked me about were: fruit, vegetables, meat
products, dairy products, the amount of money I was carrying, where
exactly I lived, how long it had taken me to get to the border from my
home (credibility check?), what exactly I was going to do in the States
and with whom and where and for how long (in considerable detail) -- as
well as the usual alcohol, tobacco, gifts, commercial goods, etc.
Personally, I had no problem with this -- better safe than sorry, after
all -- but I thought I'd just give everyone a heads' up to (a) clean out
the dross from your cars before crossing, (b) pack wisely, (c) bring
proper ID (while I was waiting, one unfortunate young gentleman was
detained and removed to a rear office for official questioning because
he was unable to produce a birth certificate and government photo ID)
and (d) declare everything and bring your letters of invitation from the
event. I'd hate to see anyone miss a great event like Mississinewa
because they were turned away at the border for something preventable.
Please forgive me if I sound like your mum!!
Best to all,
Mrs. McLean's Mercantile
p.s. They did let me in after all of that . . . :-)